tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC November 15, 2011 4:00am-5:00am EST
newt gingrich is ahead in the race for the republican nomination for president of the united states. pinch yourself, america. it is really, really happening. woo-hoo! >> i don't think there's anybody else in the race, i don't mean this -- i don't think there's anybody else in the race with the background, i've been going this for 53 years. i have a ph.d. in american history, i've written 24 books, 7 documentary books. >> newt gingrich has made seven pollster in iowa that hit politico.com today shows herman cain and newt gingrich statistically deadlocked at the top of the heap among iowa republicans. this is the best day of newt gingrich's life. for newt gingrich, this is a 13-point surge just since june when his entire senior staff quit on mass. saying all he wanted to do was sell his books and his dvds, and frankly as staffers they did not think they were there to help huckster his products, they thought this was supposed to be a presidential campaign and they walked. these poll results are a slap in the face to anybody who thought newt gingrich was just out to sell books and dvds. newt gingrich celebrating his new top position in the polls
tonight, by doing a dvd screening. in iowa. quote, newt and calista screen "nine days that changed the world" at santa maria winery in carroll, iowa. you'll see lots and lots of events like this one hawking books and dvds. tomorrow night, callista gingrich will host a book signing in webster city, iowa. another book signing in maryland. later that day, newt and callista will screen a documentary "a city upon a hill." in massachusetts. on saturday, callista will be signing books at the hooray for kids bookstore in alexandria, virginia. and the following saturday, they'll be signing books at
books a million in naples, florida. this is what newt gingrich lists as his campaign events. the beltway line on newt gingrich right now is that now that he's beginning to surge in the polls, his campaign is getting way more serious now. politico.com reporting today that mr. gingrich, quote, is making fewer stops to promote his books and movies. rather than stumping. the far fewer new and improved newt gingrich 28.0, now with 100% less hucksterism, the supposedly new newt gingrich campaign. newt gingrich still doing more than a third of his upcoming events as book signings and dvd screenings. running for president it turns out is a great way to sell your stuff. the whole idea behind newt's stuff, the whole idea behind newt incorporated is that you should want to buy newt gingrich books and should want to buy newt gingrich dvds and want to pay thousands of dollars to get
fake awards from newt gingrich enterprises because newt gingrich is such an important and very serious man. that is the whole marketing concept behind newt gingrich incorporated. and that dovetails really nicely with running for president because if you're newt gingrich, running for president sort of givings you a justification to talk about yourself in rather grandiose terms. for example, late last week at an event in michigan, mr. gingrich was asked about judges. dave wiegel at slate.com was at the event and quotes mr. gingrich as responding this way. "if you go to newt.org, you'll see an entire paper on rebalancing the judiciary, the most thorough statement of the constitution and balance of power i think that's been written by a political figure since lincoln's first inaugural in 1861." now, this is not somebody else's awesome paper that newt found somewhere and is now publicizing. it's not somebody else's paper he posted on his website and praising as being this great
thing. the greatest thing written since lincoln's first inaugural. this is him talking about himself. the most thorough statement of the constitution and balance of power since lincoln's first inaugural? back when he was republican speaker of the house, he was coasted in "the new york times" as telling an audience, "people like me are what stand between us and auschwitz." america, do you want to vote for that man for president? the guy who thinks of himself that way? this is the pause. okay. then how about buying one of this books instead? >> i don't think there's anybody else with the range of experience, the range of background, the willingness to take the beating that i've exhibited in 53 years. i find it very formidable to think that i might win and that with your help, might go through
eight very difficult years. >> okay. "a," newt gingrich promising if you elect him, eight very difficult years. where do i sign? "b," he finds it formidable to think of himself winning. and "c," he keeps talking about 53 years. what is this 53 years thing he keeps talking about? >> i don't think there's anybody else in the race with a background, i've been doing this for 53 years. i don't think there's anybody else with the range of experience, the range of background, the willingness to take the beating that i've exhibited in 53 years. >> newt gingrich says he's been doing this, preparing for the job of president for 53 years. what is the 53 years thing? i'm kind of a bad judge of how old people look. newt gingrich is older than 53. so he's not saying he has been preparing for this his whole life. according to his biography, mr. gingrich is 68 years old.
he keeps talking about his campaign for the presidency having started 53 years ago, which would mean when he was 15 years old. now, delving into the self-mythology of newt gingrich is easier than it is with most candidates because he's written so many books about himself. so dealing with this puzzle just involves delving into one of his many, many books about his own history. in newt's story of his own life, his political career, in fact, started when he was 15 years old. his political career started when he was 15 yeas old and his family took a vacation in france. that's where it started. that's when he started preparing for president. on vacation in france at the age of 15. when newt gingrich was at the height of his powers in congress, the pbs program "front line" did a big indepth biography of mr. gingrich. mr. gingrich's stepfather, with him on the family trip in france at the time, said newt never mentioned anything about that trip was all that important to him at the time.
"he never said anything about it. he never discussed it." regardless, that's the myth now. this whole my political career started when i was in france on vacation at the age of 15. that is part of newt gingrich's myth making, building himself up into an important seeming, serious seeming guy. buy my book. he's also told other origin myths about himself like the one where he only ended up in politics reluctantly after abandoning his long held dream to be a zoologist. that's another newt gingrich origin myth he tells whenever he's photographed near adorable animals. or when he was trying to sell himself as an environmental. one of his two dozen books has that environmentalist title. it's called "a contract with the earth." you can get an autographed copy of "a contract with the earth" at gingrichproductions.com for $9.99. whatever is most likely to motivate you to buy one of his books or dvds.
but right now, he's at the top of the polls. newt gingrich and herman cain are trading front-runner position with mitt romney. these are the top-tier candidates right now. newt gingrich, herman cain and mitt romney. herman cain, as you know, is an art project. which is a fact we got further evidence to support today. >> i do not agree with the way he handled it for the following reason. nope, that's a different one. i got to go back. got all this stuff twirling around in my head. specifically, what are you asking me did i agree or not disagree with obama? >> that was from herman cain's appearance at the "milwaukee journal sentinel" editorial board where he was tripped up by, quote, all this stuff twirling around in my head.
we'll have much more on that coming up later in the show. herman cain, a satirical performance arts project. about how that you can be while still doing quite well in the race for the republican nomination for president. the herman cain tape, i have to tell you, is amazing. we'll have more on that coming up. one of the ways we first knew herman cain was a satire, herman cain was an art project and not a real candidacy is when all of the different republican candidates kept trading the lead in the polls and herman cain was asked about being the latest flavor of the month. rather than criticizing the question, rather than criticizing the rather disparaging idea of being a flavor of the month, herman cain owned it, right? herman cain not only owned it, he named what flavor he was. >> if you're haagen-dazs black walnut, you don't go away, all right? some of these other flavors of the month have no substance. black walnut has staying power.
>> herman cain declaring himself to be the flavor haagen-dazs black walnut, specifically for its staying power. haagen-dazs black walnut no longer exists as a flavor. that's one of the ways we first knew herman cain was not just an art project but a really good performance arts project, a really funny one. this weekend, herman cain tripled down on that whole flavor mean thing, daring us all to unmask him once and for all. now he's riffing not only on his own black walnut flavor but now assigning all of the other republican candidates flavors as well. mitt romney according to herman cain is, quote, just plain vanilla. rick perry is rocky road. and michele bachmann is tooty fruity according to herman cain. herman cain is an art project. herman cain is an art project. herman cain is an art project. the whole beltway allegation of the sexual harassment allegations is how the allegations hurt his standings in the poll. it may be more useful to note
whether or not the herman cain sexual harassment allegations cause him to hire any staff. to handle these allegations and the other responsibilities of campaigning. as far as we can tell, herman cain still has no real campaign staff to speak of. in any early states or nationally beyond a few americans for prosperity koch brothers guys who have worked with him from the beginning. this lack of a campaign structure, this lack of having a real campaign not only made it really hard to get over the sexual harassment abuse allegations, it's now showing itself in some ugly new ways. one of the things a campaign does is better or worse raises money off a candidate's popularity. the fact herman cain does not have a real campaign to do that has not left him completely unable to raise money but left him unable to capitalize, literally capitalize on how much republican voters have liked him. that has left a void if for other people to do that on his
behalf in his name, except to not give the money to herman cain but keep the money for themselves. the "washington times" reporting today on a group called draft herman cain, though they were called draft herman cain, they were formed after he was already in the race. it's a group raising tons of money off herman cain's recent popularity and putting the money into their own pockets. the group is run by two mens, one of whom is a fell once imprisoned for fraud. they raised money off herman cain fans out there, the gullible ones and redirect the money raised in the name of herman cain into organizations that are just affiliated with themselves. "the donors have not political powerhouses but rather middle class tea partyers." this is the second such group the "washington times" reports is fund-raising now off herman cain's name but not giving the money to herman cain. it's a task made easy because herman cain doesn't have a real campaign apparatus to defend himself against that sort of thing or get to the gullible donors first. this is what happens when herman
cain is your front runner. this is what happens when the newt gingrich incorporated scam campaign is your front-runner. those are the two other two contenders for the republican nomination who are not mitt romney right now. those guys and mitt romney. that's the top tier. with that competition, mitt romney can't move the needle on his poll numbers. at this time last year mitt romney was at 22%. right now, mitt romney is still at 22%. romney averaging over time 22%. he has never been higher at all than 25%. right now newt gingrich is polling at 28%. mitt romney wakes up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat dreaming of a number like newt gingrich has right now, but he has never gotten it. he's gone from losing to donald trump, to losing to michele bachmann, to losing to rick perry, to losing to the art project guy to now losing to the gingrich productions dvd commercial. and so that's what we've got for the republican party, picking its nominee to run against barack obama. it has never been more clear
that mitt romney will get the nomination, and it has never been more clear that republican voters prefer almost anyone over him. i mean, not rick santorum, obviously, but aside from that, really, anyone. >> i recently wrote a book called "a nation like no other" designed to deal with american history. we recently made a city called "a city upon a hill" that explains the origins of american exceptionalism. brief commercial. callista couldn't be here because she's at a bookstore in dubuque signing her new book which called "sweet land of liberty" which is for 4 to 8-year-olds. @nññ
libya. >> the important thing to realize here is that is not the mistake. the mistake is what happened after that when he -- actually started talking. in the category of hard to watch but also impossible not to watch, herman cain coming up. mary? what are you doing here? it's megan. i'm getting new insurance. marjorie, you've had a policy with us for three years. it's been five years. five years. well, progressive gives megan discounts that you guys didn't.
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the arab league suspended syria, thrown them out for using its military against its own people. five former secretaries of state wrote a joint letter and said this is not the time to cut the budget further and not scale back on the diplomacy and international involvement. look at this letter from condoleezza rice, colin powell, madeleine albright, george schultz and henry kissinger pleading for us not to cut the state department any further. no matter how much or how much attention the u.s. media pays to international stuff and to america's role in the world, we're having one of those moments in the world when america's role in among the rest of the countries in the world, it just feels very, very important. when you really want there to be serious people who know what they're talking about, dealing with all these historically incredibly serious issues all over the world. it's just one of those times.
>> so you agreed with president obama on libya, or not? >> okay. libya. president obama supported the uprising, correct? president obama called for the removal of gadhafi. just want to make sure we're talking about the same thing before i say, yes, i agree, or no, i didn't agree. i do not agree with the way he handled it for the following reason. that's a different one. i got to go back. got all this stuff twirling
around in my head. specifically, what are you asking me, did i agree or not disagree with obama? it's not a simple yes/no, because there are different pieces and i would have gone about assessing the situation differently which might have caused us to end up at the same place, but where i think more could have been done was what's the nature of the obligation? >> so you would have sent ground troops or -- >> i said i would have done a better job of assessing the situation before i made decisions about what we would do. >> many republicans supported -- congratulated him. for how he handled that. you would not have been among that group? >> i'm not criticizing him. i don't think enough was done relative to assessing the opposition before everything exploded. that's what i'm saying.
i'm a much more deliberate problem -- decision maker is a point i keep coming back to. some people want to say as president you're supposed to know everything. no, you don't. i believe in having all of the information, as much of it as i possibly can, rather than making a decision or making a statement about whether i totally agreed or didn't agree. when i wasn't privy to the entire situation. there might be some things there that might have caused me to feel differently. so i'm not trying to hedge on the questions. it's just that that's my nature as a businessman. i need to know the facts as much as possible. i need to hear all of the alternatives. for example, someone just -- you might have mentioned that even within the administration, there were different views. i would want to hear all those views. look at all the information. and then i make the decision as the commander in chief.
so this is the only point i'm trying to make. >> it's one thing not to be able to tell libya from liberia from listerine, but what would be awesome if there was some expectation that you had to be able to tell libra from liberia from listerine in order to compete for a major party nomination for president of the united states in 2011. that would be awesome. joining us now is josh rogen, staff writer for "foreign policy" magazine and author of the blog "the cable." i was watching your face while you were watching the herman cain tape. i know a little bit about what you think about this. the cain campaign this afternoon said mr. cain was just tired. he described himself as making no errors, he just paused. what is your response to that? >> well, within that -- that whole tape was sort of like a car crash. you want to like away, but you just can't. and i think perhaps the most
devastating/humorous part of that five-minute clip was when herman cain actually asked the interviewers to confirm the basic facts. obama was against gadhafi, is that right? i mean, it's worse than not having a position or state it clearly, it shows a complete lack of grasp of the basic facts that happened in one of the major military interventions of our era and after that it continually got worse and worse and worse. to be fair to herman cain, the libya issue was a tricky one for all the candidates, our new gop front-runner newt gingrich was for a libya no fly zone until barack obama did it. mitt romney was reported to have five different positions on libya and michele bachmann believes the whole arab spring was a negative development caused by obama's mistreatment of benjamin netanyahu. you can't make this stuff up. >> in terms of what happens next among republicans and foreign policy, we all knew heading into this jon huntsman was the only
candidate who had any foreign policy experience to speak of. he's a three-time ambassador and did a lot of business for his dad's company abroad. he's the only one who has foreign policy experience as well. the question has been, whether or not anyone is going to care whether or not foreign policy is something these guys are going to use the win the nomination or foreign policy ignorance or extremism is going to be the way one of these guys loses the nomination. do you have a sense of how that is playing out? >> sure. i would say rick santorum has plenty of foreign policy experience but the thing that's common amongst jon huntsman and rick santorum, neither of them have a chance of making it through the primary process. let's deal with the candidates who are serious contenders.ically been the race to the right. to get to the right of barack obama who's a hawkish democrat on foreign policy. that requires them to adhere to these very simplistic and watered down positions that are just about american toughness and american individuality and
american unilateralism and we need to be tough on iran and be friends with israel. without a lot of specifics about what exactly they would do differently than what has been done. i mean, the basic idea here is that you don't win elections on foreign policy. very few people go to the polls and say, oh, i'm going to vote for candidate "x" because of his position on libya. it's what we call the commander in chief test. if you can't perform the basic function of the president which is to lead the nation's military and foreign policy which is an executive function, then you can't be president. i think that's what we're seeing now is that candidates like herman cain just don't have the credibility or the knowledge to meet that test. that's a real problem. >> josh rogin, staff writer for "foreign policy" magazine and author of the blog "the cable." thank you for time. appreciate it. >> thank you. the latest hero in the occupy movement is shelby, a border collie mix. her story and much more occupy news just ahead.
this past week in ohio, the republican bill to strip yun rights in the state, senior achievement of john kasich and ohio republicans was repealed by ohio voters, overwhelmingly by a 23 point margin. the poll that predicted that result exactly in ohio and predicted it would lose and would lose by the 23-point margin also said if john kasich, himself, had been on the ballot, if there was a rematch of the election that put john kasich in
office in the first place last year, john kasich would lose his seat in ohio by another huge margin, by 18 points. john kasich, lucky devil, was not on the ohio ballot for recall last week, but his twin, wisconsin republican governor scott walker, is. or at least he could be. starting momentarily. there have been some misconceptions about the scott walker recall floating around recently. we'll clear those up on debunktion junction, that is straight ahead.
he called it vicks vaporub. today, the vicks journey continues. introducing new vicks nature fusion cold & flu syrup. powerful multi-symptom medicine flavored with natural honey instead of artificial flavors and dyes. so you can feel good about what you take to feel better. the occupy wall street movement will be two months old this week. and it proceeds in american politics right now on two tracks. the first one, the one easiest to see on the national level but probably the least interesting to the protesters, themselves, is how occupy wall street is translating into electoral politics. this, for example, is an ad being run against elizabeth warren in her massachusetts senate race against republican scott brown. this ad is by karl rove's group, cross roads gps, and links elizabeth warren to occupy wall street and then it attacks occupy wall street as a horrible, horrible un-american thing. elizabeth warren is occupy wall street.
occupy wall street is a horrible thing. therefore, by the property of politics, you get the idea. but if elizabeth warren is occupy wall street, right, scott brown really is wall street, itself. out of 100 senators, scott brown is number one in campaign contributors from hedge funds. he's also the senator who has received the most campaign money from the -- investment industry overall. wall street seems pretty desperate to hold on to scott brown in any circumstances. if he's running against elizabeth warren of all people, you can imagine how desperate they are to hold on to him. elizabeth warren's response to the attack ad from karl rove's group came in the form of her first political ad, which was released today. >> i'm elizabeth warren. i'm running for the united states senate. before you hear ridiculous attack ads, i want to tell you who i am. like a lot of you, i came up the hard way. my dad sold carpet.
when he had a heart attack, my mom went to work so we could keep our house. we all worked. my three brothers joined the military. i got married at 19, had two kids. worked my way through college, taught elementary school. i went to law school. for years, i worked to expose how wall street and the big banks are crushing middle class families. it just isn't right. i stood up to the big banks and their army of washington lobbyists. i worked to hold them accountable. i led a fight for a new agency to protect consumers, and we got it, but washington is still rigged for the big guys and that's got to change. >> elizabeth warren in her first campaign ad speaking the language of economic populism in a way that shows you why she is as popular as she is. if the democrats are going to make any sort of claim to being the party of the 99%, elizabeth warren is part of the reason why. she's provided them with part of the vocabulary to do that.
occupy wall street is being used as an epithet. that's one level in which occupy wall street is playing out in electoral politics. the other political place, though, occupy wall street is playing out is in the streets. all day, every day. these are not marches or individual contained demonstrations. the idea of the occupy protests is that people stay. that's the occupy part of it, right? you don't go anywhere. like hoovervilles. these are supposed to be semipermanent living reminders of what's wrong with the economy and the political system. the permanence is part of the pressure. city officials around the nation frankly are not handling this well at all. across the country this weekend, six different cities shut down six different occupy protest camps including burlington, vermont, also st. louis, where there were 27 arrests. portland, oregon, 50 arrests last night. salt lake city, 19 arrested. denver, 17 people were arrested. in a denver arrest, talk to a border collie mix, named shelby,
elected the leader of occupy denver last week because as one occupier put it, "shelby has more human traits than any corporation. she can bleed, she can breed and show emotion." there were a lot of arrests at occupy oakland. before dawn this morning, hundreds of police officers armed with batons entered the site and arrested people and took down tents. jean quan who ordered the park to be cleared toured the site. this raid was far less confrontational than on october 25th. police saw a mass revulsion at their tactics. there were a number of injuries including the serious wounding of an iraq war veteran, a marine named scott olson, whose skull was fractured by a blunt object, allegedly by a projectile fired by police officers. scott olson was released from
the hospital this weekend. he posted this picture of himself online as of last night. occupy oakland protests came back from that october police action bigger than they had been before. this right now is a shot of what occupy oakland looked like moments ago. reports of 500 to 1,000 people reconvenes after they were cleared out this morning, reconvening in downtown oakland. joining us for the interview, a man who resigned with jean quan and protest of occupy oakland, john siegel. i appreciate the time tonight. >> my pleasure. >> why did you choose to resign at 2:00 a.m. this morning? >> you know, i was very unhappy with the police raid on the occupy oakland camp on october 25th, and in a conversation with some of the protesters after that raid, they challenged me about continuing to work for the city administration.
and i said i was really thinking about it, but i decided to stay and hope that the policy of allowing the camp to resume would be followed. but when it became clear early this morning that 600 or 700 riot police were on their way to downtown oakland to take 100 people out of tents they'd been occupying, i wrote an e-mail to the mayor and said, i couldn't be part of that. >> obviously you disagree with the mayor's decision. having worked closely with her and having known her for many, many years, do you have any insight into why she believed that the protest must go? she said her words tonight, i'm paraphrasing, that the movement will continue but keep cannot sleep out in oakland anymore in order to make their point. >> the movement will continue. i certainly agree with that. i think people will sleep out, if not in city hall plaza, in some place elsewhere they choose to stay. i think that's really where i disagree with mayor quan and other city officials. they just don't see, in my
opinion, the scope of this movement. this is a tremendous movement. it's a productive movement. it's a progressive movement of people who have been passive for years in the face of economic attacks. homelessness, joblessness, foreclosures, crushing student debt and so on. i think it has the potential to really remake american society. and if that's true, then people who run cities and particularly cities like oakland, where the 99% live and face all the problems i mentioned, should be supportive of those movements and should not think that they can control them. you know, the other piece, rachel, is beyond just the politics of whose side are you on. to me it seems like a totally useful and futile activity to spend millions of dollars to take people out of tents, to create situations where there was bloodshed in our streets and lots of chaos for days because they're going to come back.
this is a movement that can't be stopped. i think it makes no sense to waste the meager budgets that we have in places like oakland in fighting with folks who are trying to make things better. >> what can you imagine, as somebody who helped try to take responsibility for the way that oakland is governed, and your advisory role with the mayor, until you resigned, what can you imagine in terms of a reasonable accommodation that the city could make to stop confronting the protesters and instead to allow them to stay? >> you know, i think the first thing is that people in city hall have to get to know the protesters. i spent many, many hours with them at the general assemblies and other activities and the vast majority of them are incredibly reasonable, intelligent, thoughtful, tolerant people. and i believe that if there had been more of an effort on the part of the city government to actually get to know them, they would have been successful in persuading the occupiers to meet the city's demands in terms of
making sure that the park was clean and the sanitation was maintained and the police and fire departments would be allowed access when it was necessary for them to come in. i think there was just an attitude that got created very early on of people stereotyping each other. i think that's what created the problem. and then in the last week, there was tremendous pressure, unfortunately, on mayor quan from some of the more conservative members of the oakland city council and from people in the chamber of commerce and others who used the fact that there was a shooting near the camp last friday as, in my view, an excuse to demand it be shut down. at the end of the day, the mayor was just unable to stand up in the face of that kind of hostility. >> dan, city mayors and authorities around the country look to the experience of oakland to make their own
decisions about what to do with their own occupy encampments. there are a thousand of these across the country. obviously you advocate local officials get to know the protesters, so they're not making decisions based on stereotypes. from what you've done and what you think oakland has done wrong, is there advice you have for local authorities, local police departments, local mayors in making decisions on what to do about this movement? >> i think people do have to understand that this movement is the 99% and that the goals are really important goals that we should all be working for. and i think there has to be a spirit of compromise. go to the general assemblies. wait your turn to speak. address the people who were there and spend time with them. because at the end of the day, we should be making common cause with the occupy movement to make the sorts of changes that are necessary to have a fair taxation system, to curb the power of the big banks, to deal with student loans and
foreclosures and so on. >> dan siegel, civil rights attorney who was a volunteer legal adviser to the oakland mayor before his resignation early this morning. mr. siegel, thanks for taking time to explain this to us. appreciate your time, sir. >> thank you for having me on. >> when bunk needs debunking, we have debunktion junction, starring governor scott walker and pajama parties.
this is senator michael bennett of colorado. watch this. >> some people up here think that congress has always been unpopular. it is just an institution an unpopular place. not so, look at this, mr. president. here's congress's approval rating today. 9%. we're almost at the margin of error for zero. we did some research, mr. president, to find out what else is at 9% and we couldn't find virtually anything in public polls taken across the country. my goodness, the internal revenue service has a 40% approval rating compared to our 9%. b.p. had a 16% approval rating at the height of the oil spill.
and we're at 9%. there are inaccuracies. 15% more people support the united states becoming communist -- i don't for the record -- at 11% than approve of the job we are doing. i guess we can take some comfort that fidel castro is at 5%. >> he is making the case that congress is unpopular. when he talks about the actress that he says is more popular than congress, though he can't say his name. the actress he was referencing would be paris hilton who maybe more heiress than actress but more popular than the united states. the house of representatives named a lot of post offices after special people plus they named a courthouse and wildlife
refuge. maybe naming those things will turn things around in terms of people hating their guts as an institution. in the house it means you have basically power in the institution. today democrats used their zero power in the institution to hold a forum. not a hearing. they can't do that. the no-power democrats held a forum in the house about the rollback of voting rights in states controlled by republicans across the country this year. that was a key sons kwens of the 2010 elections when republicans took control of so many legislatures. they banning people together if they don't show documentation that hundreds of thousands of eligible voters in each of those states do not have. nearly obscured among the news of so many high-profile wins for democrats and progressive causes in last week's elections is this news, it was close but
republicans did end up winning control of the virginia state senate. in virginia the republicans have both chambers of the legislature and the governorship and republicans won control of the mississippi house which means republicans have that state's entire legislature and the governorship, as well. for mississippi that is the first time that's been true since the civil war and reconstruction. so two more state legislatures have just gone all the way red. what the republicans have been doing with the power like that this year is anything to go by, mississippi and virginia brace yourselves.
made a catch. one of the chief spokesman for the taliban in afghanistan. afghan officials say they nabbed him in a raid near the pakistan border. true or false, is taliban spokesman in custody? [ buzzing ] >> he's notes for a journalists can tell. face-to-face contact with him is rare. the only time he's been on camera is here in 2009, not very handy. he kept his back to the camera the whole time. he talks to journalists on the phone all the time. so when the new york city times heard he had been captured today they did what you would do, they called him on his cell phone and he answered. he told the reporter he was not in custody saying, i'm talking to you on the phone right now. afghan authorities say the guy they arrested also claims to be the taliban spoke sman, which maybe the taliban strategy.
the "new york times" reported that american military officials say they think of zabiollah as a team of taliban operatives pretending to be the same man which is a complicated idea. but whether or not they got the one guy, the taliban spokesman, whether they got him or not, we know there is still a guy answering the taliban cell phone and doing the taliban spokesman job. next up, true or false, the campaign to recall wisconsin governor scott walker, that campaign starts tomorrow. [ buzzing ] false sort of. the campaign to collect signatures to recall wisconsin republican governor scott walker starts just after midnight. so yes, technically that is tomorrow, but i have to tell you the party has already started. the wisconsin democratic party which bills itself as the official scott walker recall
headquarters is coordinating all kinds of parties around the state of wisconsin tonight. some of course are gatherings of pakistan who want to recall scott walker and some are a pajama parties and some are asking attendees to come up with scott walker themed pajamas. all of the parties will hit their party peak at 12:01 a.m. tonight when they can sign petitions to recall him from office. they will need a lot of them. more than a half million signatures by mid january in order to force a recall election of scott walker. in wisconsin that's a lot. part of the reason there's been confusion about the timing on this is ten days ago a scott walker supporter filed papers to recall him. why would somebody who's pro scott walker file papers to recall scott walker? that filing gave governor walker a week and a half head start on funding to fend off the recall